Tweet given official status by OED

21st June 2013 in

Entry into the Oxford English Dictionary is governed by a strict set of rules, but the popularity of Twitter has persuaded the definitive record of the English language to ignore its own regulations and expand its entry for the word 'tweet'.

The dictionary's latest update included a selection of technology-related words - such as e-reader, mouseover, redirect, big data and stream - together with a variety of phrases that would be more at home in Roger's Profanisaurus.

However, it was the additional definition for 'tweet' that caught the eye, as the dictionary's chief editor John Simpson had to bend his own regulations to include the Twitter reference.

"The noun and verb tweet (in the social-networking sense) has just been added to the OED," he explained. "This breaks at least one OED rule, namely that a new word needs to be current for ten years before consideration for inclusion. But it seems to be catching on."

The first recorded usage of 'tweet' to mean making a post on Twitter came in 2007, but Mr Simpson's decision was understandable given the seeming omnipresence of the microblogging service. Even the OED has a (surprisingly entertaining) Twitter account, with more than 44,000 followers.

This official acceptance is another sign (along with the 200 million active users) that Twitter's influence isn't going to decline anytime soon, so it makes sense to take a look at how your business uses it.

It hasn’t yet become as useful a tool as Facebook for brand building and driving sales, but consumers now expect to see a Twitter presence and a number of companies have enjoyed some success with it.

To find out more about how to use Twitter as part of your digital marketing strategy, get in touch with Smart Arts.  

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